BARBERTON, OH-The Poland Lady Bulldogs had their season come to an end Friday night with a 56-46 loss to Akron St Vincent St Mary.
As the teams were warming up it was easy to tell the size differential on the court. And the Irish took full advantage of it in the 1st quarter. Running their offense exclusively from the paint Poland struggled to keep the Irish posts in check. After the two teams traded buckets back and forth to tie the game at 6, the Irish began separating themselves. With the score 15-9 Jackie Grisdale hit a three to stop the momentum. The Irish however, were not phased as they scored the final 4 points of the frame and led 19-12 after 1.
With the score at 22-17 early in the 2nd the Irish went on another run to separate themselves. This was an 8-0 run and put them up 30-17 with just under 4 minutes to go in the half. This was a tipping point in the game where the Irish could really pull away, but the Bulldogs weren’t having it. They clawed back to cut the lead to 32-24 at the break.
The Poland defense took that momentum that closed the 1st half and did what they’ve done so many times this season, hold offenses down. The defense only allowed 6 points in the entire 3rd quarter, which let their offense claw all the way back to cut the lead to 38-36 after 3.
The Bulldogs had all the momentum coming out of the 4th quarter, their defense kept getting stops allowing them to tie the game at 38. Later in the 4th still tied at 38-38 Kat Partika hit a huge three to give Poland their first lead of the game. The Irish tied the game at 41 off an old fashioned three point play. The Bulldogs were clearly tired at this point. Battling tooth and nail against a team that was bigger than them at every position took its toll. Poland missed a couple of close range shots that would have given them the lead back but instead led to transition buckets for the Irish. Just like that the momentum swung back to St Mary and they ended the game on a 18-5 run to walk away with a 56-46 victory.
Jackie Grisdale had her best statistical tournament game of her career with 18 points to lead the way going 4/7 from three. Sarah Bury was also in double figures with 11. Poland end the season with a record of 26-1, a AP poll championship, and a district championship.